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Saturday, December 18, 2021

Marion County residents discuss local traffic, travel concerns

In response to recent Letters to the Editor that discussed the growth of Ocala/Marion County and how it is affecting the local traffic, multiple county residents wrote in and shared their thoughts and concerns on the topic:

“I agree wholeheartedly that building and development needs to cease. I travel from Dunnellon on Highway 40 across county to Forest High School. My husband works off 200 and I have a daughter who lives near Vanguard. I travel a lot weekly to and from Dunnellon and Ocala. I see multiple accidents daily. The road in front of Forest High is the scariest. My daughter was involved in a five-car pileup at the beginning of the school year and yet the speed limit is still 50mph passing by there 30 minutes before school starts. I am a mother of five and have lived in the Ocala National Forest, worked at various schools, and seen Ocala grow over the past 30+years. People are dying daily unnecessarily because of the traffic safety in and around Ocala. Something has to be done to stop people from moving here and/or fix traffic patterns,” says Kara Billig, Dunnellon resident.

“I understand that you like open space and don’t want to be crowded. You don’t want expanded airports and train service. However, if you want open space, you are going to have to buy it. You can’t demand that others are not entitled to the same things you sought when you arrived. If you want small town feel without hundreds of people seeking to move in, I suggest you try an area with a dying industry. Say, for example, a coal mining area. Florida is a desirable place to be, especially if you come from a high tax northern state. If there are jobs, people will come,” says Ocala resident Tom Peterson.

“We do not want more residential development in this area. I live on 60th Avenue and have to fight to get out of my driveway. People speed up like letting me out will cause them to be late. That and getting into my driveway. I put my blinker on in plenty of time. Yet people will be on my butt and slam on the horn as I turn in. We do not need more traffic on SW 60th Avenue. The noise is terrible, bad mufflers, and the speeding is ridiculous. I have contacted the local Sheriff about speeding by 60th and 63rd where they come over a small hill. People think they are supposed to punch their gas. I find this distressing as children live in homes along this area. I never see a cop pull anyone over in this area. So I guess you’re allowed to go as fast as you can and no one cares about it except residents along the road. I was excited to move here two years ago. Not so much now, the town is changing too fast. We are going to become another Kissimmee. No more horses, no more cows, no more farm land. We will become all residential and the new airport extension will just ruin this area. Very sad to think about that,” says Kathleen Scarpati, Ocala resident.

“Why hasn’t the airport opened for business with a regular flight schedule? There are lots of snowbirds that have to travel long distances to fly home, and back, plus the town has put large amounts of money into the airport and they could get some of it back with commercial flights. This town is plenty big enough to support an airport,” says Ocala resident Ronald Wright.

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